Just Different? Right, Wrong, and Flexibility in Crossing Cultures

different

photo credit: IMB.org

I don’t even remember who said it to me. But I remember, as we sat in my African living room, their sentiment as we discussed culture questions floating on the top of our minds: “It’s not wrong. It’s just different,” he repeated over and over.

JUST DIFFERENT? What I liked

This is probably not a bad default position, particularly for those of use who have very defined ideas of right and wrong (enneagram 1’s or one-wings, or C’s on the DiSC profile, this might be you). read more

In praise of Sabbath: On letting go

Sabbath restMy family wrangled our carry-ons into that taupe-colored hum of a 757, bound for six months stateside. (After the lunacy of the week before, preparing to abscond for six entire months, I was just grateful to make it to the plane.)

I felt conflicted.

There was of course the sizeable slab of me that couldn’t wait to throw my arms around my parents, watch my kids grab the hands of with my nieces and nephews again. I was geared up to sit around a table with the people I’ve loved for a lifetime, just like that. Perhaps I would carry a dish of corn on the cob, say, to laugh at my sister’s jokes in crazy-easy normalcy. I hoped to devour a slightly unhealthy amount of blueberries and bing cherries in those months; to close my eyes over the quiet purr of a road devoid of potholes; to throw a few dishes in the dishwasher just because I could. read more

How to Tell Kids You’re Moving Overseas as Missionaries

kids moving

“When Should We Tell Them?”

I’d say–and most sites agree–as soon as possible. Your goal is well-adjusted kids who have ownership in your decision, and who can eventually follow God courageously in their own life decisions.

If your kids keep secrets as well as mine did didn’t, I know it can be hard to discern (“What if they tell people in Sunday School and our cover is blown? We’re not ready to tell the whole church”). But even before you tell-them-tell-them, you can start planting seeds in your kids’ heads. read more

Meet an Agency: Engineering Ministries International (EMI)

We heart this new, ongoing series–a virtual trip to the coffee shop with organizations to help you go there, serve Him, and love them even better. (For more thoughts about why you might join an agency–and a handful of reasons you might not–make sure to check out He Said/She Said/You Say? “Should I go overseas with an organization?”, both the pros and the cons.)

Today, we’re grabbing a chai with Engineering Ministries International (EMI). You’ve seen them in posts like these: read more

The Cultural Iceberg: What You Need to Know about Cross-cultural Communication

cultural iceberg

We’re excited to welcome back Sheri of Engineering Ministries International. EMI mobilizes architects, engineers, construction managers, and other design professionals–including those through an incredible internship program–to provide design services for those helping the poor. We’re talking water projects, hospitals, schools, orphanages, you name it. Meanwhile, they raise up disciples and trained professionals in-country.

Sheri applies these cross-cultural points poignantly to the elements of designing cross-culturally–but we believe you’ll find inescapable parallels to any cross-cultural work. Hopefully it will help jumpstart real solutions for cross-cultural sensitivities, and help any culture manifest Jesus Christ according to its own cultural icebergs. read more

Meet an Agency: Africa Inland Mission (AIM)

We heart this new, ongoing series–a cup o’ joe with organizations to help you go there, serve Him, and love them even better. (For more thoughts about why you might join an agency–and a handful of reasons you might not–make sure to check out He Said/She Said/You Say? “Should I go overseas with an organization?”, both the pros and the cons.)

Today, we’re grabbing a cold brew coffee with Africa Inland Mission (AIM). Grab a chair. read more

He Said/She Said. You Say? “Am I cut out for this? What kind of character do I need to be effective overseas?”

It might come to mind as you’re taping another box shut, or when you’re about to pass one of those points-of-no-return: Selling your house. Selling your wheels for pennies on the dollar.

You might think, Well. If I go over there and bite it big time, this is going to be pretty embarrassing. Not to mention expensive.

(If you haven’t thought that? Just ignore those last two paragraphs.)

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